In post-industrialized cities, soils are often contaminated with heavy metals due to legacies of industrial pollution. With the modern expansion of urban agriculture, ranging from community gardens to aquaponic systems, many practices may occur within marginalized contaminated soils. This study first works to identify existing literature that details heavy metal soil contamination in urban settings and the impacts it has on urban agriculture. The addition of organic soil amendments rather than traditional chemical fertilizer correlates with lower insect pest abundance while assisting in remediation of contaminants by lessening mobility and bioavailability of heavy metals within the soil. The experiment aspect of this study examines the effects of lead contaminated soils and how it affects tomato (Solanum lycopersicum var. ‘Moneymaker’) defenses and beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) growth and development. The results did not yield significance, stressing the need for additional research on insect pest and soil amendments in contaminated soils. In modern urban agriculture, there remains a large disconnect between scientific research and accessible information for the lay public to implement. The study includes a bulletin of accessible methods for contaminated soil remediation, utilizing strategies developed to help increase science communication.


Moreno, Carlo


Environmental Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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